Earth Splash

Hello, long time 3D, first time Blender user. I decided to switch from 3DS Max in an effort to cut back on product licensing costs, and was very pleased with how Blender has come along in the last few years. After some simple architectural pieces, I decided to jump in head first and become more proficient with the Blender workflow, so I went through some tutorials and came up with this:

Final render was at 6000px tall, took about 20 hours to render at around 400 samples. I had some major banding issues due to the background image I used, so rather than re-rendering to try and correct it, I rendered out a couple quick masks.

100% zoom, banding issues

Rendered mask with two separate passes, one for the drops (easy part), one for the underwater objects. I used an emission material on all objects in the water to get a decent refracted mask (I’ve used this trick before to get reflected masks).

Used the mask to fill the background image with a content aware fill in Photoshop, and applied a “Splatter” filter to it.

Final image, 100% zoom, smooth as can be, even at 8bit color depth.

Edit: No thumbnail?